In the journey of Christian Spiritual Formation, when everything is shifting on the inside of our souls, like shifting sands of the sea, there is typically shifting in our external world as well. It can either paralyze us or inspire us to move forward one step at a time. Choosing to sit still to “Be with God” is not a posture of paralysis. It is a position of honoring God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit who live within us. Yet, when we are working, serving, or playing, these are also positions of honoring His
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. - T.S. Eliot What are you looking for? A better sense of self? A better home and garden? More knowledge about the Divine or your divinely inspired pursuits? An idealized Christianity or church to validate a privatized salvation project? To figure out your dysfunctional family system? Untie some knotty existential shoelaces tightened by primal repression so that you no longer trip over fear, guilt, and shame? A well balanced portfolio?
The season of Advent is upon us and as Christians we turn our hearts in preparation for the coming celebration of the birth of the Messiah, our Savior. A theme we often attended to here at CrossPoint is the particularity of God’s love. Thomas Oden considered the incarnation the “scandal of particularity.” God in his wisdom makes himself know to us in and through a very particular Jewish man. But there is more to the scandal than God simply making himself know in Jesus. The crux of the scandal is that this Jewish man, with a real family history
As Christ transforms us daily to be more like Him, sometimes He allows delight and sometimes He allows pain to do the transformational work in us. Sometimes being present and vulnerable with the painful challenges in our lives is what creates the most beauty in the long run. Our lives are not about living without pain and struggles. It’s more about how we respond to what happens to us along the way. Psalm 37:4--”Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” If our greatest desire is to know God and to
The spiritual life is not easy. Our false self does not go down without a fight, and one to the death. This is a really inconvenient battle to wage when it is challenging enough to just live life. Who really knew what we were signing up for in following Jesus and taking this journey seriously? Who really knew that the path would evolve and feel more like death and descent? The One Who guides us knows. Others who have gone before know. Be encouraged by the following quote from Joseph Benner an American Protestant mystic who seems to know.
Christian Spiritual Formation is a journey that is one of posturing ourselves to be awakened to the process of coming back to the true self of who God created us to be. The posturing is sometimes difficult. It can require us to be still or it can require us to step into something new because we have been still long enough. Being still requires us to let go of distractions of work, family life, or being busy for the sake of busyness. Stepping into something new requires that we let go of what feels safe and familiar. Which ever
“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.’ –Genesis 28:16 Jacob was on the run from his brother who wanted to kill him. Jacob whose name means ‘deceiver’ had maneuvered himself into the patriarchal blessing and birthright by tricking his Dad and also taking advantage of his brother. As he was fleeing and making his way to his Uncle’s house he stopped to rest. It was in this vulnerable and exposed ‘in between space’ that he had a fantastic dream and awoke to his conclusion that
This past Sunday was the fourth week of the Lenten journey. One of the readings was from Psalm 32. Consider these words from David… Psalm 32:1–2 (ESV) 1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. This man knows about forgiveness. This man knows about mercy. He knows that true happiness is possible for the one who has been forgiven…much. In a grief recovery group we cover the topic of forgiveness. We discuss how forgiveness
In my last blog post I (Rich) wrote of our being grounded in the love of God. It is not our loving that is the essential thing, but our being love by the Trinitarian God. We long to belong and our deepest sense of belonging is in Christ. Our longing for our truest place is satisfied not by something we create or achieve but it is a gift from God. The gift of eternal life is ours by faith. This eternal life is nothing less than God’s life in us (the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit) and our
Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons captures the life and death of Sir Thomas More in a compelling way. As the story proceeds we are introduced to Richard Rich, a promising and ambitious young man. Rich asks Thomas More for a position among the privileged at the court of Henry VIII. Thomas says he cannot do that. But he can offer Rich the position of a simple teacher.The upwardly driven man is crestfallen. Thomas tries to cheer him up: “You’d be a good teacher.” Rich fires back, “And if I were, who would know it?” Patiently Thomas explains, “Yourself, your